Thursday, July 9, 2015

Finding my connection within pregnancy

It was our boy’s birthday yesterday. Six. Wow. Six years since the moon was my midwife and we welcomed him into the world.
I often like to write on the birthdays of our children. They are like my own personal days of celebration. Little white flags that cheer my personal journey of parenthood. I don’t make any outside show for myself, just little inner shouts of joy and a bit of reflection of the trip so far. It’s been good. It is good. So Good.
Our boy’s birth though. His is a personal triumph. His was when I finally shook my pre-determined concepts of how it was suppose to be, and went a more inward, contemplative, meditative, Spiritually Aware Route. From the moment he was conceived, our boy was my teacher.
Six years and nine months ago, I was stressed, distressed, and overwhelmed. Our girls were five and six, just starting homeschooling, my husband was renovating our home and we had a small homesteading farm, my family was having problems too so I was on the phone to my parents, siblings and friends all the time. I was excited to be pregnant, but scared too. I kept thinking that surely all this would result in a miscarriage or some emergency.
5 years before our daughter had been born quickly at home and then rushed to the hospital... for no apparent reason except for being a bit early. I guess homebirths just weren’t the thing eleven years ago in Canada. Upon arrival they prodded and injected against our will, she then ended up in the ICU for 2 weeks. It was the worst 14 days of my life. I felt voiceless, and guideless. I couldn’t find the space to tap into the Source of wellbeing I had always known. The dark pit had me scared and overwhelmed. It was isolating. Our older daughter was only ten months (Irish twins as they say) So I went through the motions... aware only of my unawareness.
When I found out I was pregnant again those five years later, I wanted it different... and then I found myself snowed under in circumstance. Within a few months of teeter tottering I decided to rise above it all and trust in my dearest Source.
 I found a sense of trinity with me, my son, and Source Energy/God. Suddenly I could know all was well. When I fell into worrying  about how things were, I received a kick from our boy. When I was stressed and unfocused I got two kicks. Little reminders that it was the moment that mattered. That my imagination could be used for positive outcomes and that appreciation and awareness created magic. Together we connected and pondered life mysteries. We played, we laughed and I started to see the world through his sense of reality. It was beautifully exhilarating.
When I greeted our son early in the morning on July 8th, there were so many things which could have been focused on.  I could have been scared or panicky, I could have wrapped my mind around organizing or worrying about our daughters who were a little freaked, or I could have doubted the wellness of everything and questioned everything that had gone before. But instead I’ll never forget the moment I saw him.
It was like greeting a good friend. I recognized him and he did me as well.
I shouted out “my boy, there’s my boy.”
And from his essence he seemed to exude the statement. “I told you all would be well.”
With the birth of our son, the concepts of Spiritually Aware Parenting were born.
Find Connection within yourself first, and then you can find incredible, extraordinary connections with your children. It is a cycle of love.
So often we all go about it the opposite way; worrying about our children which knocks us off axis and disconnects us from our instincts... preventing ourselves from sensing what our children really need.
I’m in the midst of fine-tuning my coaching packages as well as sorting out my SAP Summer Challenge and in doing so I found myself asking what drove me to do my pregnancy package. Funny how I should ask myself this so near the anniversary of my boy’s birth... for there was the answer in front of me.
Often life is chaotic and speeding all around us. The difference finding that connection brings is magical. I experienced it firsthand. But often it felt delusional. Often it felt silly to not just give in to the fear and reality, the upsets and stresses and feel tossed about on the sea of unknowingness.. If I had had someone who would have told me- Go for it. Trust the Connection-meditate on your breath, focus your thoughts, Connect to all you are. talk to your baby, relate to him. I wouldn’t have had so many moments of feeling unprepared or isolated. Even during his birth I swayed from fear to love and back again. The moon was my midwife only as it was the focus I shifted to as I looked at her out the window and surrendered. It’s in the trust and faith of wellbeing and love that creates more of the same and when we are enthralled by that Power of Divinity and Love... oh each experience is amplified by millions.
That’s why I do what I do. I love seeing parents feel that connection with their unborn child, I love hearing them sigh in relief of feeling the fear lift, even for enough time to seek a new perspective. I love people seeing their pregnancy as a transformation, not just for their growing baby, but for them; a time to define and fine tune themselves and focus their intentions. Life is a magical winding path, with adventure everywhere. Pregnancy is always proof of that.

So, I guess on this sixth birthday of our boy I need to thank him. He taught me so much and still does and he will forever be that little baby, giving me a little nudge telling me to trust and all is well.

Christina Fletcher's pregnancy book is available on her website
www.spirituallyawareparenting.com or through Amazon and other
online bookstores

Monday, July 6, 2015

The six year old philosopher

Its two days before he turns six. Am I allowed to take a moment? Sigh.
Six is such a big thing for me. It’s the space between little boy and boy. It’s when he’s suddenly expected to help a bit more, be a bit more thoughtful, more considerate. It’s when he graduates to full team member. There are benefits and definite drawbacks for the youngest of a family.
Lying in bed being put to sleep he asks the question that always sparks a new phase in my book. He’s been making the six transition in so many ways lately... but tonight he crossed over.
“Mom, I don’t get it. Who made the first person?”
Thank our pregnant kitty cat for teaching him the birds and the bees young. Farm life is always such a great source of information.
Not wanting to influence his sense of ancestry and knowing that he was probably closer to knowing the answer than “grown ups” I simply answered with a “There’s a lot of different ideas, what do you think?”
He paused thoughtfully watching his fish.
“I think God married someone and then people were made.” Another pause. “Nah, I think probably God made us, He can do anything.”
Now I’m going to interrupt here for a second. Our little (not so little) boy has an interesting concept of God. We’ve kept the concept of God general, without doctrine, allowing everyone to have their own relationship, their own ah-ha discovery. We’ve passed on that there is Universal, unseen power, and that it is Love. They know I have quick chats with the power and meditation is God time. But there’s not been many semantics. I want them to experience their own magical stories of deep understanding.
So, in keeping with that, I’ve found it interesting to hear our boy’s thoughts. From a young age he’s talked about God in passing. It’s become regular conversation to hear him say “Oh yeah, when I was with God I saw that... or went there... or did that.” He believes we come back after death, he likes to talk about what he’ll come back as. I know he’s been here before.
So, I was curious to hear his version of creation vs evolution.
I told him about different ideas of creation stories. Which he took in stride and then I told him Darwin’s theory.
He burst out laughing. “That’s silly.” He replied.
I suggested sometimes people resemble apes or monkeys.
“Only in a Monkey suit mom.”
Now I know, Creation vs Evolution etc... hot topics I’m sure. But this isn’t saying anything about my perspectives or even proofs or theories. This is my boy’s. Our six year old boy. Sigh. (another moment)
Don’t you find it interesting that the more magical story, the more loving story, the enlightened spiritual story is the one that makes sense to him? The scientific, matter of fact, in your face story- is just silly.
We live in strange times. My husband pulled up this youtube video last night about this underground city.... an extensive catacomb of underground apartments created thousands of years ago. Scientists and Archaeologists are baffled at how and why this sort of construction could have been designed and created all that time ago. The program was made by History.com and after describing the skill and miraculous structure they turned to the why. Their solution... some sort of Alien Invasion.
I’ve heard a lot about the theories of Aliens inspiring and creating things on earth lately. It seems to be the new default for things we can’t understand. We can’t have a spiritually inspired person, they must be possessed. We can’t have divine inspiration it must be from outer space. Our concepts of magic and wonder must be squished into a little box. One where things add up and make sense.
Do we always need outside data? Isn’t it a little exciting to look within our inner most hearts to hear truth?
I could have answered my boy’s question tonight with an answer. I could have chosen a system to believe and relayed it to him, forming his young mind to believe that I have all the answers. That I know the truth... when I don’t. I know what feels right to me, but it might not feel right to him. So, he was asked to answer first. It felt good. I told him it felt good.

Not silly at all. Just a little bit lovely, a little bit magical... and a little bit like a six year old growing up.

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Child Isn't a Joke


The situation would be frowned upon if it was about race or gender, but if it’s about children, society has no problem cracking a joke.
A seemingly harmless Facebook status about how hard it is to concentrate on work when surrounded by cute kids opens a gateway for generalized comments and jokes, such as “they’ll be doing something disgusting soon enough” or “Imagine them 10 years down the road stealing your car.” Somehow, even just the two word response “beat them” is considered funny. 
What? When did it become okay to make that sort of comment? 
Why is an age slur different than a race one and when are we as a society going to start treating our children as respected citizens?
2015 started off with many heated debates regarding free speech and what it meant. With the horrifying tragedies in Paris, some still questioned whether ridicule and criticism regarding any group was a fair representation of free speech. I have a problem with the statement “people should learn how to take a joke” especially since we are consistently battling bullying for our children in the schools. It feels like a mixed message.
We tell our children not to hurt others and to respect differences. We tell them to help others smaller than themselves, to see people as individuals and not stereotype groups. We encourage them to accept that others have different beliefs and cultures, but then, in grown up society, we can mock, sneer and jeer at whomever and whatever as long as it has a certain quality of wit. 
When I commented on the Facebook comment thread, simply saying that my kids were too incredible to be distracted from, I was told that “everyone loves their kids, but they like to laugh too.” I was being a killjoy. Because I was suggesting that children, individual human beings, who are at the beginning of learning about life, who are often struggling to adapt to adult surroundings and being expected to know how to be without being taught in simple steps, CHILDREN shouldn’t be laughed at, labelled as simply cute and stereotyped as people headed for trouble.
Is it social media that has us so cut off from basic consideration for others, both individually and as groups? Are we so desperately in search of that funny status that we’ll make fun of our loved ones or anyone standing too close?
I don’t even understand how it comes about. Why are children so often, generalized negatively when we were all young once? It’s not like different cultures where unless you live and breathe them it’s difficult to fully feel what they are. I remember being a child and my attempts at learning as I went along. Generalizing how I was going to behave based on my age often did me harm. In fact it left me isolated and confused. You remember, don’t you, that feeling of walking into a store and the staff watching you intently, and convinced you were going to sneak something into a pocket, all the while knowing it was usually the least suspecting that would shoplift.
In my mind any ridiculing of any stereotyped version of a group does one thing: it perpetuates more of that perspective. The power of words is that they create, they empower their message. The more we put focus on the mess children can create in their explorations, rather than on the excitement of their explorations themselves, the more it’s the mess we see. The more we comment on our children’s downfalls, even generalized downfalls which other people have made a joke of, the more we look to our children to back it up and the more we have a distorted view of who they are. It is like a projector goes up between us and them, and the image we watch of them is simply an image, no longer capable of personal connection.
My children and I laugh all the time. We joke about and have been known to raise passing people’s eyebrows with our giggles and goofy behaviour. However, they are being raised with the care not to make fun of things. If you make fun of something beautiful, even a fairytale, you will never see it the same way again. If you mock something then be prepared for your perspective to change forever. We’ve all occasionally watched a skit on a show like Saturday Night Live and repeat it in our minds with a laugh whenever we hear about the issue or person again. It’s the comic’s greatest legacy and responsibility to shift perspective to the humorous side. Do we want to change perspective of how we see our children?
We’re an ever evolving and developing human race. We are suppose to be forever moving forward, but we have to ask ourselves, can’t we learn that bullying is bullying, no matter the age or the cause, and that no victim should have to be told to “take a joke”. Verbal abuse is often in the form of ridicule and it is abuse, whether directed at one person or at a group, and generalization of children, like any group of people, simply creates walls against seeing people as individuals.

Our children, just like ourselves, are individuals. They sometimes make messes, make mistakes and occasionally act ridiculously cute, just like us. It’s all the process of this thing called life and all of us often need a helping hand of support not to be the butt of a Facebook joke.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Opportunities in Disappointments

Her eyes filled with tears when she found out she didn’t get the role she wanted in the local theatre production and my first reaction was to go ask the director why she hadn’t and demand to give her what she wanted. I bite my tongue while she cried in my arms.
The extremes of parenting:  a few generations ago kids were told to toughen up, the world wasn’t run for them and they shouldn’t expect special treatment, now we run around them, trying to make everything perfect for them, telling them they can achieve anything, attract anything, do anything. We tell them the sky’s the limit and then run around killing ourselves trying to prove it and make it happen.
Extremes of anything aren’t healthy and its time we stopped kidding ourselves. We aren’t in charge of our children’s lives and maybe it’s time we had more faith in their capabilities.
It’s never a question of toughening up, but it’s time we remind ourselves that we are fueling the instant gratification fire of the 21st century within our children. They are used to Ask and receive at the lightening speed of putting food in the microwave, seeing new movies online and having questions answered at their finger tips. They have a fast flow of in and out, interested to bored, want to can’t be bothered. On the other hand, we are the generation of parents who know it’s not healthy to let them cry it out when they were babies (it’s now scientifically backed up), but we carry that though into their teens. We don’t like to see them upset, we don’t want them to cry, and it hurts us to see them disappointed. So we’ll do anything in our power to make sure.... what? To make sure they are never unhappy?
But we are also the generation that knows we are instilling beliefs and values into our children by how we live. We can’t offer them the Suck it up, life’s hard line, it goes against a deeper truth we are aware of. Life is full of infinite possibilities, it is possible to live our dreams and dance like no one is watching. It’s our generational mantra. It’s also something carved out for ourselves...by ourselves. We can’t do it with our Mommy holding our hand, taking anyone down who gets in our way.
What we often forget is that the more we try to make everything fall into place for each of our children’s smallest wishes and desires, the more we try to push ahead for them, the more we create a message that says “you can’t do this without me.” The more we stop the tears of disappointment with promises to always make it alright, solidifies the idea that what the want is the only way it can go, without any openness to what could come as pleasant surprises.
We don’t have to be the principal of the school of hardknocks. We don’t have to administer the disappointment, but we don’t have to prevent it either. We can build up our children’s sense of self value and their life time tools by reminding them that, yes, things might not be going their way, they might not be getting what they want, but what they are getting might turn out better than they could ever imagine.
                My daughter took the role. She had rehearsals with people other than her friends and she seized her offered moment as a gift, rather than an insult. She rose to an opportunity, while I know I would have turned it down flat at her age. I would have been determined to have what I wanted and nothing but. Her opening night was last night and she came out of the theatre laughing and happy. She’s met new friends, had an amazing first performance and decided the role she thought she had wanted wouldn’t have really worked for her. She’s friends with the director and is looking forward to many more performances. Better yet, she’s grown in her perception of herself and how to be herself at the same time as letting life offer her chances rather than seeing them as disappointments.

Yes, there are truly times when our children become the teachers and we get to sit back and watch in awe. Our children, like ourselves,  know that life is for embracing not judging and disappointment is when we are telling the universe that it has no idea what it’s doing. But deep down we know, we may not like it, but we know: The Universe Always knows what its doing.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Art of Boredom

My boy isn’t impressed when I express pride every time he announces “I’m bored.” At five years old he’s reached a new plateau and its one that has him slightly confused. When he was a baby signs of restlessness were greeted with me singing with him, bouncing on my knee or introducing new sights or sounds. Toddlerhood had his own explorations, but sometimes I would come in to set up a new sensory table, a new activity. As he grew a little more, he looked to his sisters for amusement, getting involved in their games, getting them to play with him, trying to be twelve rather than four. He has played and played and played, frustratingly never learning or moving forward, but having quality time with his sisters. But now at five and a half, he’s wiser. He’s played great games with all of us and he wants to do more, but he’s developed preference on what he likes to play and simply joining in to other people’s stories, just isn’t cutting it. His old games and toys, don’t seem to offer amusement and so often we just won’t do what he wants us to do. So, the wail of “I’m bored” follows.
And his mother says, “I’m so glad”, and I am.
Our children aren’t bored enough now days. We as parents seem to feel it’s our job to amuse, to set up and distract. Sure, I play. I can often be found on a bed driving some imaginary bus and saving some stuffed toys from some horrible fate, but then I stop for a bit, or sit on the “bus” and read, while he rides, drives and saves. I’ll offer options, but he’s five now and my instincts have told me, it’s time to enable, but not to amuse.
Remember car trips?  Remember staring out the window for sometimes days, watching the world wiz by and imagining everything under the sun, even just swearing you’d never take your children on road trips?
Remember going shopping with our mothers, or waiting for them to get their hair done? Remember playing with our fingers, as they were the only amusement, literally, on hand?
Now, we seem to do everything in our power to make sure our children aren’t bored. We offer them toys or iphones, we offer them treats to distract them or simply get other people to take care of them while we shop, so it goes smoother and they don’t get bored, because that would be a disaster. But who is it a disaster for? Is it really that bad for them that they are bored, or is it the inconvenience for us that make us avoid it so frantically?
Boredom offers opportunity. It is our spirit’s way of saying I have room here. I have space where I can do something different. I want to try something new. I’m ready for the next adventure. Boredom says let’s try something crazy. Boredom is the imagination’s invitation to come out and play. That’s why our parents did well to offer us that tub of clay or simple blocks to compete with boredom; they are tools for the imagination, rather than amusement or distraction for it.
Our children are children at an important time. Some say that when 85% of them retire from their careers, those jobs haven’t even been invented yet. Their imaginations have to be razor sharp, yet we live in a world that can actually blunt it. Boredom invites them to find solutions to problems, even if it’s just jumping on their bed chanting I’m bored! Boredom asks them to ask themselves what they think, what they want to do, whereas computers, iphones and most toys of today tell them what to do and not to think about it.
Well my son hates being told what to do, and although he’s been allowed to experiment with a few computer games, he’s come to the conclusion that they don’t leave much room for him to make the rules. His sisters don’t like him to make the rules either. But his imagination does. His stuffed toys do.
He still might not be too impressed with my “Yay for boredom” attitude and he’s a little confused when I say, “Hey squint you eyes and watch the light dance”. But he’s getting there.
And I still will join in a game every once and awhile, as long as his amusement isn’t depending on me to play. I’ll join in for my own amusement knowing he is strong and smart enough to create his own.



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Being Grateful, Being Thankful book review

Life is full of moments that remind us of the power of the Law of Attraction and how it works consistently through our lives. With the mere concept of like attracting like, and us, as energy beings, constantly sending out a vibration of something or other and attracting it back again, it can often be overwhelming as we watch ourselves become the victim to our own vibrational cycle. One of the things that can stop this cycle is the feeling of appreciation and it is upon that theme which Sarah Butland has done such a lovely job. With her book, Being Grateful, Being Thankful, Sarah reminds readers of the simple things that we can all appreciate. From water that flows from the tap, to the sun that shines in the sky, to technology that is ever improving beyond our imaginations, there is so much around us that we can put our focus on and appreciate, shifting our feeling space for the better.
A thought needs to be held for 17 seconds, uncontradicted, in order to alter our vibration slightly, four sets of 17 seconds and it builds to alter our point of attraction. What Sarah does so beautifully is create an expanding version of each thing she appreciates. Rather than offering a run-off list of things to be thankful for, she creates a couple of pages, fully flushing out the item, concept or reality, so that the feeling of appreciation can be strongly felt from the reader.
Sarah offers 30 topics to feel grateful for, so it strikes me that it would serve well as a monthly challenge, reading one chapter a day and truly letting the day be filled with appreciation for that focus each day.

Being Grateful, Being Thankful is a lovely addition to a library as a reminder that we truly have a lot to appreciate.